The Russian Defense Ministry releases a video which it says shows air strikes by Russian military jets hitting targets inside Syria. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday released video of airstrikes it said it carried out in Syria. The ministry says it conducted about 20 flights over Syria, hitting eight Islamic State targets. The ministry said Russian jets had destroyed an Islamic State command post and an operations centers in a mountainous area, Russian agencies reported. The strikes did not hit civilian infrastructure or areas nearby, the ministry said. It is the Kremlin's biggest Middle East intervention in decades, but Moscow's assertion that it had hit Islamic State was immediately disputed by the United States and rebels on the ground. The air strikes plunged the four-year-old civil war in Syria into a volatile new phase as President Vladimir Putin moved forcefully to assert Russian influence in the unstable region. Moscow and Washington offered conflicting accounts of which targets had been struck, underlining growing tensions between the two former Cold War foes over Russia's decision to intervene. Washington is concerned that Moscow is more interested in propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad than in beating Islamic State. The Russian defense ministry said the strikes targeted military equipment, communication facilities, arms depots, ammunition and fuel belonging to Islamic State.